In one of the most Patrick Reed stories of all time, the golfer everyone loves to hate has escalated a personal feud with a threat of legal action over accusations of cheating.
An attorney representing Reed sent a cease-and-desist letter to Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee on Dec. 13 that demanded an end to Chamblee’s labeling of Reed as a “cheater” following a highly publicized incident in which Reed appeared to cheat at the Hero World Challenge last month, according to Golfweek.
The letter would have been sent on Day 2 of the Presidents Cup, the same day Reed’s caddy and brother-in-law reportedly punched a fan as discourse over his alleged cheating reached a fever pitch.
“The purpose of this letter is to obtain assurance that you will refrain from any further dissemination, publication or republication of false and defamatory statements concerning Mr. Reed, including any allegations that he ‘cheated’ at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas,” wrote Peter Ginsberg, a partner at the New York City law firm of Sullivan & Worcester.
The saga began when Reed was caught on camera appearing to blatantly hit sand near his ball in a bunker while competing in the Bahamas. Reed was eventually assessed a two-stroke penalty and blamed the camera angle following the round.
A closer look at Patrick Reed’s two-stroke penalty during Round 3 of the Hero World Challenge. pic.twitter.com/z2aqkajnYq— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) December 7, 2019
Reed’s lawyer reportedly challenged that had the PGA Tour really believed Reed had intentionally broken the rules, he would have been disqualified instead of only receiving the penalty, claiming “everyone involved agrees that Mr. Reed acted unintentionally,” and that tape of the incident apparently vindicated the golfer.
Chamblee was one of many, pro golfers and fans included, to lambast Reed following the incident. The attorney reportedly cited Chamblee saying on the air “To defend what Patrick Reed did is defending cheating. It’s defending breaking the rules” as an example of something apparently over the line.
Chamblee reportedly wasn’t concerned when contacted by Golfweek:
“My first reaction was that someone is so pissed at Patrick Reed that they went back and watched all the nice things I said about him when he won the Masters and was demanding I cease and desist saying nice things,” he said. “As I read further and got to the sentence that the tape fully supported him, I wondered how did Patrick Reed find the only lawyer in the world who didn’t play golf?
“As I continued, I felt like I was reading Finnegan’s Wake,” Chamblee added, referencing James Joyce’s famously incomprehensible novel.
The attorney reportedly didn’t directly threaten any kind of defamotion suit, but did demand Chamblee sign a document agreeing to not repeat his past comments on Reed’s alleged cheating (good luck with that).
Of course, Reed has plenty more people beyond Chamblee to convince before his reputation can be pulled out of the gutter.
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